Thursday, April 30, 2015

In Minneapolis, Rallying in Solidarity with Black Lives in Baltimore

Yesterday afternoon I joined with approximately 1500 other people in a rally and march in memory of Freddie Gray and in solidarity with the people of Baltimore. The rally was held at Minneapolis' Gold Medal Park and was organized by Black Lives Matter Minneapolis.

Freddie Gray died of spinal injuries a week after his arrest in Baltimore on April 12. He was accused of making eye contact with a police lieutenant, then running away. When caught, he was arrested for possession of a switchblade. While being transported, Gray fell into a coma and was taken to a trauma center with injuries to his spinal cord and larynx. The circumstances of the injuries remain unclear. Gray's family, however, have said his spine was 80 percent severed at the neck. Six Baltimore police officers have been suspended, as it emerged they had delayed providing Gray with medical attention despite his requests. The police department, however, has denied using force against Gray. (5/1/15 Update: "Six Officers Charged in Death of Freddie Gray" – Pamela Wood and Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun)

An ongoing series of protests and uprisings erupted in Baltimore this past Monday, April 27, after Gray's funeral. In response, thousands of forces, including National Guard troops, have been deployed throughout the city. Monday’s unrest led to more than 200 arrests, dozens of cars set on fire, and many buildings badly damaged.

For many, this violence diverts attention from the real issue: that the predominantly African American residents of West Baltimore have long suffered from police brutality and economic neglect.

Also, public reaction to Gray's death mirrors the response to other recent victims of police brutality nationwide, a disproportionate number of whom are African American males.

Related Off-sites Links:
Minneapolis Rally and March Show Support for Baltimore – Nicole Norfleet (Star Tribune, April 29, 2015).
After Baltimore Unrest, Thousands Protest in Cities Across the U.S. – Matt Pearce (Los Angeles Times, April 29, 2015).
Protests Against Police Violence Spread in U.S. – Scott Malone, Ian Simpson and Warren Strobel (Reuters via Yahoo! News, April 29, 2015).
Cutting Through the Police Propaganda in Baltimore – Sonali Kolhatkar (TruthDig, April 29, 2015).
From Ferguson to Baltimore: The Fruits of Government-Sponsored Segregation – Richard Rothstein (Working Economics, April 29, 2015).
Eyewitnesses: The Baltimore Riots Didn't Start the Way You Think – Sam Brodey and Jenna McLaughli (Mother Jones, April 28, 2015).
11 Stunning Images Highlight the Double Standard of Reactions to Riots Like Baltimore – Derrick Clifton (Identities.Mic, April 27, 2015).
Baltimore Burning: The Morning After And The Day Ahead – Charles P. Pierce (Esquire, April 28, 2015).
10 Images of the Baltimore Riots You Won't See on TV – Natasha Noman (News.Mic, April 28, 2015).
"Why So Much Anger?": If You Don’t Know, Washington Post Won’t Tell You – Jim Naureckas (FAIR, April 28, 2015).
"You Can Replace Property, You Can’t Replace a Life": Voices of the Unheard in the Baltimore StreetsDemocracy Now! (April 29, 2015).
Baltimore’s Disgrace is Its History of Police Violence – Belén Fernández (Aljazeera America, April 28, 2015).
Media Deliberately Covers Up 10,000-Strong Peaceful Protests on the Streets of Baltimore – Shante Wooten and M. David (Counter Current News, April 29, 2015).
How Western Media Would Cover Baltimore If It Happened Elsewhere – Karen Attiah (The Washington Post, April 30, 2015).

UPDATES: Freddie Gray's Death Ruled a Homicide; Six Baltimore Officers Charged – Michael Walsh (Yahoo! News, May 1, 2015).
Baltimore Celebrates After Charges in Gray's Death – Scott Malone and Ian Simpson (Reuters via Yahoo! News, May 1, 2015).
We’ve Been Here Before: Charges Don’t Guarantee Conviction – The Editors (The Root, May 2, 2015).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Rallying in Solidarity with Eric Garner and Other Victims of Police Brutality
At the Mall of America, a Necessary Disruption to "Business as Usual"

Images: Michael J. Bayly.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Quote of the Day

American marriage law, and the English law that it was derived from, presumed that the wife was both financially and sexual subservient to the husband. In a world where marriage is defined as a union between a dominant man and a submissive woman, each fulfilling unique gender roles, the case for marriage discrimination is clear. How can both the dominant male role and the submissive female role be carried out in a marital union if the union does not include one man and one woman? This, according to Justice Ginsburg, is why marriage was understood to exclude same-sex couples for so many centuries.

But marriage is no longer bound to antiquated gender roles. And when those gender roles are removed, the case for marriage discrimination breaks down.

Related Off-site Links:
U.S. Supreme Court Seems to Be on the Verge of Ruling in Favor of Marriage Equality – Reuters via The Huffington Post (April 26, 2015).
Supreme Court Marriage Equality Case Will Be Led by Catholic Gay Couple
What the Catholic Supreme Court Justices Get Wrong About Marriage – Patricia Miller (Religion Dispatches, April 29, 2015).
Meet the Couples Fighting to Make Marriage Equality the Law of the Land – Amanda Terkel, Kate Abbey-Lambertz and Christine Conetta (The Huffington Post, April 20, 2015).
The Top Arguments For and Against Same-Sex Marriage at the Supreme Court – Matt Baume (The Huffington Post, April 30, 2015).
Jon Stewart Positively Destroys Anti-Gay Marriage Arguments at the Supreme Court – Ed Mazza (The Huffington Post, April 30, 2015).
Biblical Marriage is Not What You Think – Rebecca Todd Peters (The Huffington Post, April 30, 2015).
Even Expert Opposing Equality Conceded Same-Sex Unions Have Been Around for Millennia – Adam Talbot (HRC, April 30, 2015).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Changing Face of "Traditional Marriage"
Marriage: "Part of What is Best in Human Nature"
Rediscovering What Has Been Written on Our Hearts from the Very Beginning
Responding to Bishop Tobin's Remarks on Gay Marriage
Quote of the Day – May 31, 2014

Image: Ted Bytan.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Poldark: Unfurling in Perfect Form

Above: Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark in the BBC One television series Poldark, which premiered in the UK on Sunday, March 8, 2015.
(Photo: BBC/Mammoth Screen/Mike Hogan)

I'm happy to report that Poldark, BBC One's television series based on Winston Graham's acclaimed series of historical novels (written between 1945 and 2002), is both a critical and ratings success.

Indeed, not only has a second season of Poldark already been commissioned, but none other than Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has praised the program, going so far as to call for its continuation for another eight years, presumably the time it will take to film all twelve Poldark novels.

The first series actually concludes this weekend in the United Kingdom, while in both Australia and New Zealand it's still underway. Folks in the U.S. won't see Poldark until it premieres on PBS on June 14. (Thanks to my friend Karen in the U.K., I've already viewed a number of episodes of the first series. But I'm going to hold off on sharing my thoughts – all positive, I should say – until a future post!)

Over the past month or so in the U.K., there has been a number of insightful comments and reflections shared about various aspects of Poldark. Following is a sampling.

It’s no surprise that Poldark’s appeal had endured. From 1945, when Winston Graham first published Ross Poldark, to the first TV dramatisation in the '70s, when apparently vicars had to change the times of evensong because the pews were empty of parishioners who needed their Poldark fix, he is a hero for any age. He’s imbued with a social conscience, sees the heroine as an equal rather than a commodity to be conquered and possessed, and manages to do all this in a pair of pleasingly tight breeches without banging on about his feelings all the time.

– Sarra Manning
Excerpted from "In Ross Poldark, We Have Reached Romantic Hero Nirvana"
The Guardian
March 25, 2015

Poldark fever is all about us. Red-headed and feral, Demelza Carne, the scamp [played by Eleanor Tomlinson (left)], is up against the impetuous yet generous temperament of Ross Poldark [Aidan Turner (above)], always championing the underdog. Cornwall beckoning, even though some of the film has been shot in the Cotswolds. The men could learn a thing or two about the finer arts of scything and some of the women ought to eat a few more pasties. But in Poldark, geology, coastline and landscape are as important as tides, weather and human emotions. Mining, like film directing, is an expensive and dark art. You never know until the end whether you have succeeded.

Much of the film script is drawn from smelting down ideas and refining the characters portrayed in the Poldark books written by Winston Graham, but let us not lose sight of the man, the novelist. This time dialogue and plot is more faithful to the original novels which would please Winston.

– James Pascoe Crowden
Excerpted from "The Solitude of Wartime Coastguard Duty
That Led to Poldark’s Birth
Western Morning News
April 24, 2015

[Poldark is] a splendid series and proof that, in the right hands, romantic historical drama can be just as satisfying as the recent and more intellectually rigorous Wolf Hall, which is another BBC triumph.

It's also a career-making series for Dubliner Aidan Turner, who brought all the requisite good looks and smouldering flair to the role of Ross, and a real sense of decency, too. And it's also given us Eleanor Tomlinson, whose Demelza was even more winning than Angharad Rees' portrayal in the 1970s series and whose rapport with her co-star is the real making of this new and improved version.

– John Boland
Excerpted from "This Poldark is the Real ­Romantic Thing
The Independent
May 4, 2015

The beauty of Poldark [is that] time after time it sets up splendidly melodramatic situations, and makes heroes of its characters by forcing them through hellfire.

– Gerard O'Donovan
Excerpted from "Poldark, Series 1, Episode 7 Review
The Telegraph
April 20, 2015

[The makers of Poldark start with] 1940s novels that mirror the dark times just after World War Two, and to give them credit, they are doing this far more authentically with the central characters than the progressive 1970s series. And as [Poldark author Winston] Graham did, they are given voice to the marginalized and powerless, the abject, the lowest of the low, in a wide ranging perspective which includes underlying economic realities.

– Ellen Moody
Excerpted from "This Year’s Consuming Costume Historical Film Adaptations: Poldark and Wolf Hall
Ellen And Jim Have A Blog, Two
April 13, 2015

One thing that Poldark is capturing quite nicely is the sweeping social change that was beginning to happen in the late 18th century. Revolution is in the air all over Europe and the old order is beginning to worry just a tad about their place in society. The miners are revolting, sons of labourers run the banks, and women (women!) are starting to get all uppity. . . . However, this is the 1780s and the social order is being rattled more violently by nouveau riche gents [such as George Warleggan, played by Jack Farthing (left)] rather than frustrated wives and sisters.

– Chris Bennion
Excerpted from "Revolution is in the Air as Women Fling Mud
in the Eyes of the Silly Chaps
The Independent
April 20, 2015

Professor Steven Fielding – director of the Centre for British Politics at Nottingham University – points in a recent article to the radical context of [Winston Graham's Poldark novels]: "The first Poldark novel was published in 1945, the year Britain elected a Labour government intent on building a more egalitarian society. Graham's work was shaped by that context." Fielding even sees the maid-marrying hero as "a kind of 18th-century Robin Hood" whose "romantic life echoes his ambiguous place in the social order." . . . To Fleming, "Contemporary Britain resembles the world of Poldark, with elites of various sorts appearing to run roughshod over laws and morals in pursuit of advantage." He wonders whether there might be "a real political force out there, able to tap into their inner Poldark." Tops off, comrades, and let's whet those scythes.

– Boyd Tonkin
Excerpted from "Heroic and Tragic Truth Behind Poldark
The Independent
April 10, 2015

[Aidan Turner's Ross Poldark is] a man who cares about the poor and dispossessed, who thinks nothing of marrying his kitchen maid and comes up with the genius, enlightened idea of a business co-operative, in an attempt to end the Warleggan stranglehold on copper prices. What powerful stuff, what a fairytale, what devastating Sunday viewing – who is thinking of Downton Abbey now? The BBC does know how to cast their leading men and they also know how to spin a great story.

. . . [T]here is far more to Winston Graham’s colourful, picaresque tale of 18th Century Cornish life, than the battle for a largely female Sunday night audience. On a simple level, Poldark is a love story, across the social divide, with the scandalous union between Ross Poldark and Demelza Carne and all the delicious opportunity, this throws up for scandal and social and financial ruin for Ross – as the gentry punish him by refusing to do business with him.

In the seventies' version, coming hot on the heels of the swinging sixties, the political overtones of Graham’s novels are largely toned down, and overlooked, in favour of much bed-hopping, debauchery, and comic Cornish accents, with the Spectator's famously louche columnist, Geoffrey Barnard, declaring he loved the series, but lamented its "lack of a message."

No one could accuse [screenwriter] Debbie Horsfield’s 21st Century version of lacking a message.

– Alison Jane Reid
Excerpted from "Poldark: A Meditation on Love, Compassion and Power"
Ethical Hedonist Magazine
April 26, 2015

Friends of mine in both Britain and Australia are also weighing-in on Poldark. Here's what some them have to say via Facebook . . .

Watching this beloved story unfurl once more in such perfect form is a quite unbelievable and overwhelming experience. The years we have dreamed and schemed for this and deliberated over who could ever take on the precious roles. And now, to see the whole thing emerging so gloriously, thanks to Debbie Horsfield's inspired script and the phenomenal way in which Aidan and Eleanor are interpreting their roles, is exquisitely wonderful. I feel like I've come home somehow when I watch the slow budding of their relationship develop delicately from master and servant, to master and friend, and then the beauty of seeing affection softly awakening into sexual attraction and the dawning of love. It's blissfully in keeping with the tender romance of Winston Graham's original story and to see it played out against the captivating splendour of the magical Cornish landscape is breath-taking. Poldark has come home to our screens and back to its cherished home in our hearts forever.

– Karen Knight
West Wittering, West Sussex, United Kingdom
March 23, 2015

Watched it and am hooked! Thanks for recommending it, Michael.

Kristy Naughton
Townsville, Queensland, Australia
April 12, 2015

I enjoyed it and will definitely keep watching. Costuming, script and cinematography was excellent for a TV series (as was the makeup with lots of dirty faces and bad teeth for the peasantry), although the weather was just a bit too good (WT, blue skies in England?) – sombre weather would have set the tone better for his unwelcome and dispiriting homecoming (but is that just too much of a cliche?).

Haven’t read the books (or even seen the 1970s series), but perhaps also a bit more background to his suggested wayward/carefree life before the war would have helped as it seems to come across that he was a bit of a lad – sort of return of the prodigal son, but without the welcoming father (and his money).

My only real peeve is that surrounded by a number of good attempts at earthy 18th century Cornish/West Country dialects, Aidan Turner’s trans-Atlantic accent was just that bit bland for ancient landed (but impoverished) gentry. Oh, and that Demelza sorely needs a good feed!

Andrew Worthington
Brisbane, Australia
April 12, 2015

Enjoying the series, Michael. I love historical romance. Reminds me of one of Judith McNaught books.

Heather Sills
Gunnedah, New South Wales, Australia
April 24, 2015

Enjoying it . . . looking forward to the next episode.

Margaret Bayly
Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia
April 22, 2015

In conclusion, I share the following clip from a beautiful and pivotal scene from the fourth episode of season 1 of Poldark (written by Debbie Horsfield and directed by Ed Bazalgette).

Related Off-site Links and Updates:
Poldark Gets Second Series After Ratings Help BBC1 to 10-year High – Jasper Jackson (The Guardian, April 8, 2015).
BBC Plans to Make Poldark and Other Hit Shows 'Internet First' – Hugo Gye (Daily Mail, April 9, 2015).
Poldark's Return: Everything You Need to Know About the BBC Remake – Dominic Midgley (Express, February 26, 2015).
The First Reviews of Poldark Are In . . . – Rachel McGrath (The Huffington Post UK, March 9, 2015).
Author Winston Graham's Family Give Thumbs Up to BBC's Poldark – Simon Parker (Western Morning News, March 9, 2015).
Meet the Cast of Poldark – Ben Dowell (Radio Times, March 8, 2015).
BBC's Poldark Adapts to Our Times – Tara Conlan (The Guardian, March 9, 2015).
Poldark and Handsome – Michael O'Sullivan (Mike's Movie Projector, March 23, 2015).
Seven Reasons Poldark is the New Downton Abbey – Evie Bowman (The Window Seat, April 2015).
Don’t Be Sad – Poldark Will Return! Here’s the Writer on What You Can Expect in Series Two – Debbie Horsfield (BBC TV Blog, April 23, 2015).

See also the previous Poldark-related Wild Reed posts:
Poldark Rides Again
Ross Poldark: Renegade of Principle
Return of the (Cornish) Native
"A Token of Wildness and Intractability"
Passion, Tide and Time
A "Useful Marriage" for Morwenna
Time and Remembrance in the Poldark Novels
"Hers Would Be the Perpetual Ache of Loss and Loneliness"
Demelza Takes a Chance (Part 1)
Demelza Takes a Chance (Part 2)
Captain Blamey Comes A-Calling
Rendezvous in Truro
A Fateful Reunion
Cornwall's – and Winston Graham's – Angry Tide
A Sea Dragon of an Emotion . . . "Causing Half the Trouble of the World, and Half the Joy"
Into the Greenwood
"I Want You to Become a Part of Me – Each to Become a Part of the Other"

Friday, April 24, 2015

Quote of the Day

Coming to a new understanding of women as full human beings is the sine qua non of church change. Moreover, the current pope’s recent reiteration of the virtues of gender complementarity showed that he is not tuned in to contemporary scholarship, both scientific and humanistic, on gender, its fluidity, and variety. No one can be certain how constructed our gender identities are, or what grounds them biologically. Being “created in the image of God” is a better bet.

We are all learning together about this, some of us more willing to admit what we do not know than others. But we can certainly agree in the meantime that persons trump genitals, that competence and willingness to serve are far more relevant than gender identity when it comes to Christian life. This means ordination and decision making for women on a par with men, or a complete change in sacramental ministry and governance for all (my preferred future). But it does not mean that women can continue to be treated as second-class citizens in any way whatsoever.

– Mary E. Hunt
Excerpted from "Women’s Equality in the Church is No Longer Negotiable"
Religion Dispatches
April 23, 2015

For more of Mary Hunt's insights, see the previous Wild Reed posts:
Quote of the Day – April 17, 2013
Progressive Perspectives on the Papacy (Part 5)
Quote of the Day – February 11, 2013
Quote of the Day – June 10, 2012
Mary Hunt on the "Child Neglect" of the Washington, DC Archdiocese
The "Ratzinger Letter" of 1986 as "Theological Pornography"
Mary Hunt: "Catholicism is a Very Complex Reality"
Crisis? What Crisis?
Our Catholic "Stonewall Moment"
LGBT Catholics Respond to Synod 2014's Final Report

Recommended Off-site Links:
Pope Francis Has a Woman Problem – Jennifer Labbadia (The Huffington Post via The Progressive Catholic Voice, March 31, 2015).
I'm a Catholic Feminist, and My Church Needs Me More Than Ever – Kristina Keneally (The Guardian via The Progressive Catholic Voice, January 30, 2015).

Image: Kristen Solberg.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day 2015

In honor of Earth Day I share the poem "Becoming" by Rod Cameron, OSA. It's from his 1995 book Karingal: A Search for Australian Spirituality, which the McGowan family gifted to me in 2006.

Accompanying Cameron's poem, one which reflects the basic tenets of evolutionary spirituality, are images of the Australian landscape from various trips that I made to Australia from the U.S. between 1996 and 2003. These images have been scanned from print copies and have not been previously shared at The Wild Reed. Enjoy!


Becoming is the song of flowing tides
of bursting flowers, onward rushing streams
the ceaseless sunrise of our human powers
the long awakening of our deepest dreams.

Becoming is the cry of morning light
the smiling peace that comes when spring is blessed
the theme of every drama of the stars
a sigh that rises from the ocean's breast.

Creation is an act of long awakening.
The rocks and rivers whisper this one theme,
the course that the unfolding chart is taking
the hymn that rises from an early dream.

– Rod Cameron

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Photo of the Day – Earth Day 2013
Boorganna (Part I)
Boorganna (Part II)
Thomas Berry (1914-2009)
"Something Sacred Dwells There"
The End of the World As We Know It . . .
Quote of the Day – September 19, 2014

Related Off-site Links:
Earth Day: LGBTQ Theologians Join in Protecting the Environment – Kittredge Cherry (Jesus in Love Blog, April 22, 2015).
Reading I.F. Stone on Earth Day: Why We Still Won’t Get Anywhere Unless We Connect the Dots – Naomi Klein (Common Dreams, April 22, 2015).
The Stain of Big Oil is Smearing Earth . . . and Our Culture – Mel Evans (Common Dreams, April 22, 2015).
Love Is the Primary Energy to Amend Climate Change – Rev. G. Travis Norvell (Sojourners, April 23, 2015).
'Environmental Heroes' from Around World Honored with Prestigious Prize – Sarah Lazare (Common Dreams, April 21, 2015).
Colorado Teenager Rallies Youth Around the World to Protect the Planet – Cameron Keady (The Huffington Post, April 22, 2015).
Encyclical on Environment Stimulates Hope Among Academics and Activists – Thomas Reese (National Catholic Reporter, April 24, 2015).
Pope Francis' Radical Environmentalism – Tara Isabella Burton (The Atlantic, July 11, 2014).

Recommended Resources:
Dreaming a New Earth: Raimon Panikkar and Indigenous Spiritualities – Gerald Hall (Wipf and Stock, 2013).
Holy Ground: A Gathering of Voices on Caring for Creation – Lyndsay Moseley (Sierra Club Books, 2009).
Restoring the Soul of the World: Our Living Bond with Nature's Intelligence – David Fideler (Inner Traditions, 2014).
Enough Is Enough: Building a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources – Rob Dietz and Dan O'Neill (Berrett-Koehler, 2013).
Field of Compassion: How the New Cosmology Is Transforming Spiritual Life – Judy Cannato (Sorin Books, 2010).
Prayers to An Evolutionary God – William Cleary (Skylight Paths, 2004).

Images: Michael J. Bayly.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Quote of the Day

I’ve been here almost four years, and there might be a handful of people who are uncomfortable. But [gay couple Greg Bourke and Michael DeLeon (pictured at left)] are loved and respected. . . . They’re involved, and you see how they fit in. They’re just good people. And that’s kind of what it’s all about, isn’t it?

Fr. Scott Wimsett,
Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes
Quoted in Francis DeBernardo's article,
"Supreme Court Marriage Equality Case Will Be Led by Catholic Gay Couple"
Bondings 2.0
April 21, 2015

Related Off-site Links:
"They're Just Good People. And That's Kind of What It's All About, Isn't It?" – Amanda Terkel and Christine Conetta (The Huffington Post, April 20, 2015).
Meet The Couples Fighting To Make Marriage Equality The Law Of The Land – Amanda Terkel, Kate Abbey-Lambertz and Christine Conetta (The Huffington Post, April 20, 2015).
Poll: No Turning Back on Gay Marriage – Susan Page (USA Today, April 19, 2015).
Religious Leaders On Same-Sex Marriage: “No One View Speaks For ‘Religion’” – Jack Jenkins (Think Progress, April 21, 2015).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Marriage: "Part of What is Best in Human Nature"
Quote of the Day – December 30, 2014
Rediscovering What Has Been Written on Our Hearts from the Very Beginning
Responding to Bishop Tobin's Remarks on Gay Marriage
Quote of the Day – January 18, 2015
Quote of the Day – May 31, 2014

Happy Birthday, Dad!

In Australia today my Dad celebrates his 78th birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad!

I've said it before but it's worth saying again: My brothers and I are very fortunate to have Gordon James Bayly as our father. He is a man of integrity, compassion, and selfless service to others. We experienced and witnessed such qualities growing up in Gunnedah, and they are qualities that are still very much part of our father today.

I love you, Dad, and can’t thank you enough for all you continue to be and give to me, my brothers, our family, and so many others whose lives are touched by yours.

Above: A picture of Dad and Mum that I took during
my recent Australia sojourn of March 2015.

For some great photos of Dad through the years, click here and here.

Here are a few more pics from the Bayly family archives . . .

Above: Dad as a young boy. He's pictured riding his tricycle at “Flodden,” his mother’s family farm in the Purlewaugh district of northwestern New South Wales, Australia.

Left: Mum and Dad, early in their courtship, in Gunnedah in the mid-1950s. Dad is in his band uniform.

Above: Dad with Aunty Phyllis in Sydney in the late 1950s. For more about Phyllis, click here and here.

Above: Dad holding me as an infant. This photo was taken during a family holiday at The Entrance in the Australian summer of 1966/67.

Above: Dad and Aunty Phyllis with my brothers and I in the late 1960s. From left: Phyllis, Chris, me, and Dad, holding Tim.

Above: My brothers (from left, Chris and Tim) and I with Dad. This photo was taken at Christmas 1970 at the home of our family friends Ray and Gwen Riordan and their three daughters, Denise, Wendy, and Diane. The Riordans owned a property called “Fairview” in the Kelvin district, about 20 kilometres northeast of Gunnedah. While growing up, my brothers and I spent some very happy times out at Fairview – playing tennis, riding our mini-bikes, and hiking through the nearby Kelvin Hills.

Above: With Dad in Sydney, circa 1980.

Above: With Dad in 1990.

Left: Dad in 1991 with his 1974 Ford XB Falcon (Fairmont Sedan model).

Above: With Dad in the business he owned and operated for 30+ years in our hometown of Gunnedah. I'm thinking this photo was taken in the summer of 1998-1999, when I was visiting from the U.S. Dad retired in 2001 and he and Mum relocated to Port Macquaire the next year.

Dad's business was (and continues to be) called Gordon Barry and Company, after its founder, grain merchant and stock and station agent Gordon Barry. It sells a range of rural merchandise such as crop seed (wheat, barley, sorghum, millet, and sunflower), fertilizers, farm animal feed . . . and dog kennels! Dad also oversaw the cartage of grain during the harvest season. For many years, one of Dad's two business partners in the company, Pat Smith, dealt with the sale of livestock and real estate.

Above: Dad and Mum with Dad's business partner Pat Smith and his wife. Judging by the clothes and hairstyles, this photo was probably taken in the late-1970s.

Above: Dad and Mum with their good friends John and Heather Sills – Gunnedah, 1990.

Above: Dad in 1991 with his mother, Belle Smith (left), and his mother-in-law, Olive Sparkes.

Above: Dad with his first grandchild, Ryan (1990).

Above: Dad and Ryan in 2000.

Above: Dad and Mum at the March 15, 2015 wedding of Ryan and his wife Farah. For more images of this special day, click here.

Above: Dad with his granddaughter Layne – Katoomba, 1996.

Dad with his grandchildren Layne and Brendan (above) in 2000, and Ryan and Liam (below) in 1998.

Above: Mum and Dad in Melbourne – March 2015. For more images of our family's time together in Melbourne, click here.

Above: Dad playing pool with his grandson Liam – Melbourne, March 14, 2015.

Above: Dad at a rest stop in the mountains between Port Macquarie and our family's hometown of Gunnedah – Wednesday, March 24, 2015.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Happy Birthday, Dad (2014)
Happy Birthday, Dad (2013)
Happy Birthday, Dad (2011)
Happy Birthday, Dad (2010)
Happy Birthday, Dad (2009)
Congratulations, Mum and Dad
Catholic Rainbow (Australian) Parents
Commemorating My Grandfather, Aub Bayly, and the Loss of the AHS Centaur

Related Off-site Link:
"He Wasn't a Superhero But He Was a Hero"A Prince Named Valiant (February 21, 2011).